Learn How to Gain Confidence when Breastfeeding in Public
A baby isn’t going to want to wait to drive home when they are hungry, they want their milk when they want their milk! It also isn’t fair to a mom to spend months cooped up at home because she feels nervous or anxious about breastfeeding or pumping in public.
Naturally, some moms feel more comfortable nursing in public than others, and some find it easier to pump in a restroom in a mall. For those who don’t feel so comfortable doing so, here are some tips to make it a little easier on you.
Tips for Breastfeeding In Public
Breastfeeding is great, you always have fresh, warm milk ready for your baby, and rarely need anything else. It is the most natural way to feed your baby, but it is easy to feel nervous about feeding in public, especially if it is your first time.
You need to avoid worrying about what other people think, and try and make breastfeeding in public easier for yourself. Here are a few ways how:
Breastfeeding in public for the first time can be daunting. If you feel uneasy about it, why not practice breastfeeding at home as you would in public, and even sit in front of a mirror to see what you look like while feeding. You will be quite surprised at how inconspicuous it might look, or how little breast you are showing. Remember that your baby’s head will be covering most of your breast!
Pro Tip: Also try to breastfeed in a supportive public place for the first few times, such as in a mother and baby group or in a small coffee shop with a friend.
The Right Clothes Make a Difference
Nursing wear makes breastfeeding in public so much easier! You will not have to fuss with your clothing too much and can easily give your baby access to your breast without lifting up your top completely.
Another option is to use a nursing tank or cami. When you lift your shirt to nurse, your back and torso are still covered which make you feel much less exposed.
If you feel more comfortable covering up when breastfeeding in public, there are some great breastfeeding covers that help give you some privacy. It should be something light and airy, so your baby doesn’t overheat. A sling or wrap works great to offer some privacy as well.
Pro Tip: If you are using a nursing cover for the first time, practice at home first. Your baby might not know what to make of the change and and flail around a bit at first.
Tips for Pumping in Public
Working moms often find themselves having to pump at work, or you might need to express a little when out shopping without your baby. It can be quite tough to do so, but being prepared can make it a whole lot easier for you!
Hands free pumps make pumping in public almost imperceptible. In fact, only those closest to you might know at all. More and more hands free pumps are available on the market and make pumping on the go or in public much less of an event.
Another option is to carry around a single manual pump for expressing on the go. It can be such a hassle carrying around a large and loud electric pump, and you wouldn’t want to be stuck with dead batteries either. Single manual pumps are easy to store in a handbag and are silent and fuss-free.
A hands-free bra is a great pumping addition. It helps when you are pumping at work especially, as you will have your hands free to catch up on emails or some extra reading.
Layers can help you be more discreet when pumping in public and can give you some extra privacy which many moms prefer. There is also the option of using a breastfeeding cover when pumping in a public space.
Keep a pumping bag in your car or on you when you go out. Stack it with your pump, some milk storage bags, and some nipple cushions to keep your breasts and nipples comfortable while pumping. Having everything in one place will make pumping on the go much easier.
When in doubt, remember that you are giving your baby not only the gift of nutrition but of vitality. If anyone questions your right to feed your baby in public, you are protected by law in the US to do so.
Also, when doing something for the first time, it might feel like all eyes are on you, when in reality many people won't even stop to take notice.